VCU Psychology Department

Does forgiving others affect your meaning in life?

Relationships are a vital source of meaning in life. But conflicts are inevitable in every relationship. Might forgiving an offense by your partner increase or restore how meaningful you feel your life is? read more...


How can we track the psychosocial functioning of patients?

Understanding a patient’s psychological profile over time can aid in diagnosis, assessment, and treatment planning. What method can we use to track the psychosocial functioning of patients? read more...


Dr. Kirk Brown

Associate Professor (tenured)

Social Psychology (primary), Health Psychology (secondary)


PhD (1998), McGill University

Fellow, Society of Experimental Social Psychology

Fellow, Association for Psychological Science

Academic Editor, PLOS ONE

Contact Information

Phone: 804-828-6754

Office: 808 W Franklin, rm 202

E-mail: kwbrown at

Web site: Research Lab

Research Interests

Implicit in many approaches to the enhancement of well-being is the importance of becoming aware of ones cognitive, emotional, interpersonal and social ecological circumstances. My research examines the role of attention and awareness, and specifically mindfulness, in self-regulation and psychological, physical and social well-being. More broadly, I am interested in the study of consciousness and its role in human functioning. Conducted in both laboratory and naturalistic settings, my research program addresses both theoretical and applied issues.

Selected Publications

Brown, K. W., Creswell, J. D., & Ryan, R. M. (Eds.) (2015). Handbook of mindfulness: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Guilford.

Brown, K .W., Coogle, C., & Wegelin, J. (2015). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for caregivers of family members with early stage dementia. Aging and Mental Health. DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2015.1065790

Quaglia, J. T., Goodman, R. J., & Brown, K. W. (2015). Trait mindfulness predicts efficient top-down attention to and discrimination of facial expressions. Journal of Personality. DOI: 10.1111/jopy.12167

Kirk, U., Brown, K. W., & Downer, J. (2015). Adaptive neural reward processing during anticipation and receipt of monetary rewards in mindfulness meditators. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 10, 752-759.

Brown, K. W., Goodman, R., & Inzlicht, M. (2013). Dispositional mindfulness and the attenuation of neural responses to emotional stimuli. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 8, 93-99.

Recent Courses
Recent Grants

The effects of mindfulness training on neural activation to incentive delay: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Principal Investigator. 2015-2017. Collaborative Advanced Research Imaging, Virginia Commonwealth University, $20,000.

Mindfulness as a buffer against peer exclusion-related distress. Co-Principal Investigator.
2015-2017. University of Virginia Contemplative Sciences Center, $11,000.

Using mindfulness meditation training to transform social relationships among lonely older adults: A randomized controlled trial. Co-Investigator (Principal Investigator, J.D. Creswell). 2014-2016. 1440 Foundation, $20,000.

Depression and insulin resistance in adolescents. Consultant (Principal Investigator, L. Shumaker). 2013-2016. National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD), 5R00HD069516-05, $994,193.

Psychological and genetic predictors of immune responses to stress. Principal Investigator. 2010-2011. VCU Presidential Research Incentive Program, $49,950.

Mindfulness-Based Alzheimer's Caregiving: A novel intervention to enhance caregiver well-being and relational functioning. Co-Principal Investigator. 2008-2011. U.S. Administration on Aging, 90AI0017/01, $102,694.

Recent Sponsored Student Grants

Berry, D. (K. W. B Sponsor). Source: Mind and Life Institute. Project Title: Bridging the empathy gap: Effects of brief mindfulness training on helping outgroup members in need. 2014-2016.

Goodman, R. J. (K. W. B. Sponsor). Source: Mind and Life Institute. Project Title: The effect of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on episodic and prospective memory function in aging adults. 2013-2016.

Quaglia, J. T. (K. W. B. Sponsor). Source: Mind and Life Institute. Project Title: From intra- to inter-personal: Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on emotion regulation in social contexts. 2013-2016.

Cordon, S. L. (K. W. B. Sponsor). Source: Mind and Life Institute. Project Title: Mindful interactions: Effects on couple conflict-related stress and relationship functioning. 2010-2013.